He recorded the testimony of men, women, and sometimes children who came face-to-face with the living, or at least the undead, hell of that dreadful time. World War Z is the result. Never before have we had access to a document that so powerfully conveys the depth of fear and horror, and also the ineradicable spirit of resistance, that gripped human society through the plague years.
Ranging from the now infamous village of New Dachang in the United Federation of China, where the epidemiological trail began with the 12-year-old Patient Zero, to the unnamed northern forests where untold numbers sought a terrible and temporary refuge in the cold, to the United States of Southern Africa, where the Redeker Plan provided hope for humanity at an unspeakable price, to the west-of-the-Rockies redoubt where the North American tide finally started to turn, this invaluable chronicle reflects the full scope and duration of the Zombie War.
Note: Some of the numerical and factual material contained in this edition was previously published under the auspices of the United Nations Postwar Commission.
©2006 Max Brooks; (P)2006 Random House, Inc.
"Hard to put down." (Publishers Weekly)
"A literate, ironic, strangely tasty treat." (Kirkus Reviews)
"Horror fans won't be disappointed: like George Romero's Dead trilogy, World War Z is another milestone in the zombie mythos." (Booklist)
Very entertaining, but why abridged? I didn't catch on until about a couple of hours in, I kept feeling like I was "missing" something. Bits of information here or there, or that I just wasn't getting the whole story with each narrator. Looked up the reviews and found out why.
First, let me say that my issue with this book may be the fact that it is the abridged version. It seems like a collection of stories loosely collected with large gaps taking place between the chapters. Second, the hype I read before purchasing this book created expectations in my mind that the book did not live up to. Third, the premise of the book is an intriguing one, and the not so subtle analogies to today's politics are the best part of this story. Interesting concept, could have been a much better listen if regular narrators were used so that the unabridged version could have been created.
The reviews are by Mike.
This is a wonderful piece! The writing is great, the narration is fantastic. I could barely turn it off.
I'm a fantasy/SF audio book fan. Although this one is a Zombie/horror book, it aims more toward a general audience than the typical genre piece. Doesn't go for cheap gross-out or suspense, which I wouldn't like.
I was fairly gripped by the book. Although by no means great writing and too long, there were enough good ideas on the page to carry through a clever premise. This audio production however is very poor. The style of writing cannot withstand being read out, and the cast taken as a whole, including great actors, come across as flat, overly cynical, bored and uncompelling... which is a great shame.
I did love the first couple hours before it got too political. I liked some of the story and Mr. Brooks style of writing. This book was obviously meant for an international audience. The book leans left while having a random splattering of class warfare and a veneration of the "collective". I really wish there was more philosophical balance. A good zombie book for anyone who agrees with or can ignore the liberal philosophy of the author.
I love zombie movies. That being said, I went into this book knowing next to nothing about it's contents except a vague notion of a world at war fighting zombies.
The book was well written, the audio was well acted, and the story in general was actually pretty good. I just did not enjoy the format of the book, in which it's basically a collection of short stories. (Although, some characters are revisited for additional chapters.) In retrospect it makes a lot of sense because it succeeds in giving the impression that it's happening on a global scale. To the author's credit, this is something many movies fail to do. It's just not something that works well with a visual medium.
After reading this book I've discovered just how much I enjoy a single narrative that follows a single (or very few) characters.
If I enjoyed this style of storytelling it would have been 5/5. Instead it gets a 4/5 from me personally.
This is read by an amazing cast, I heard it first on a road trip. I was riveted and had to hear the rest of it, in the hotel and then I had to hear it again on the drive back. I had never listened to an audio book that I liked. The characters are strong and well portrayed, the actors are amazing. The reading done by a full cast is now what I look for in audio books, I have listened to this over and over. It is written as a history book, and worth the read if you get the chance, but I still come back to the audio.
WWZ is definitely the scariest book i've ever read. listening to it was disappointing only in that i knew what was being cut out. the narrators were fabulous. thinking about the 'redeker' segment is giving me chills as i write this. to the reviewers who think this book was too political: no politicians were named. if a worldwide pandemic were to occur, however, zombies or not, i guarantee the response would be very political and politics would cramp the logical response. that's the only political agenda being put forth here.
While the zombie genre works, such as AMCs The Walking Dead, usually follows one group of people this lets you see moral decisions and various trials of different people and nations through out the world. As a history buff this is something that I don't believe is explored enough in the zombie genre. I do understand the two complaints of the short length and subject matter of the book thinking its to politically driven.
While it is short, the books set up of being a collection of interviews allows the various performances of the voice actors to make this the best audiobook I have ever heard and you feel that you are actually getting something special when listening, instead of feeling that you are simply listening to someone reading you a book. I can see how this won an award as an audio work. Though, obviously it would have been better if you had more of the interviews. I haven't read the book so I can't speak to what's left out but if it's as good as what's here then you are missing out.
As a lover of detail I could have gone for having access to the fictional report that is full of nothing but "cold hard facts" on everything about the outbreak. Perhaps Brooks will go Tolkein style and create a samarillion type book that is full of all that.
In regard to the complaint that it is to politically driven, I found the argument pretty weak. I assume the people who think this are overly sensitive Bush fan/warhawks but I had trouble seeing this book as an indictment on him personally at all. It seemed to show more commentary on how different forms of governments may tackle decisions and that there are winners and losers in history and the effects that mistakes/decisions made by leaders can have. In my opinion, looking at how the events could change the world's nations and hypothetical thoughts and how they would react is the best aspect of this book.
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